When you’re applying for a job, you’re typically asked to send in your resume and a cover letter. But did you know that 53% of employers have reported that the resume alone does not provide enough information to determine if the candidate would be a good fit? Employers will often turn to the internet to research potential candidates and be assured that they are looking deeper than samples of your work or your work experience — they also want to see if there’s a cultural fit. Do you really want your future employer to base their decisions on your status updates or photos on Facebook?

You need a resume website.

Myth 1: I am not interesting enough to have a website

Having a website is nothing about being interesting. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you have interesting things to share on your website, but having a personal website is much more than that.

Myth 2: I am a private person and I don’t like to be known about

Nobody is saying you have to broadcast your phone numbers and address or plaster your family photos all on your resume website. Your personal website should be about providing professional information so that recruiters and employers can get to know you a bit better professionally.

Benefits of Having a Personal Website

Whether you create a single-page website or a larger portfolio, your personal website serves as a resume. But unlike a standard resume document which is boring and static, a resume website allows you to share information (e.g. clickable links) and demonstrate your creativity and technological skills (e.g. your use of colors and imagery).

Simply put, your personal website is a user-friendly version of the hardcopy resume you hand out.

Other benefits of having a personal/resume website:

•  A website is dynamic — you can always add new things to it. Just update your website from time and time and people can continually come back and see what you’re up to.

•  Having a website gets you found on the internet. Employers will try to look you up on Google. If you don’t have a website all they might get is a Facebook, Twitter or maybe a LinkedIn profile, if you have one.

•  You can use your website to showcase your skills in a more user-friendly way than a resume or hard copy portfolio. For example, include videos and photos of your skills and accomplishments.

Where do I start?

You need a good domain name. If it’s possible, make your domain name yourfirstname+lastname.com. This is the best domain name option for memorability and SEO.

But, if that name is taken, consider throwing in a middle initial or even your full name, as long as it doesn’t make the domain name too long.

For example, if your name is Elizabeth Mary Smith, your domain name options can be:

•  ElizabethSmith.com
•  ElizabethMSmith.com
•  ElizabethMarySmith.com

Don’t use numbers in your domain name and try to avoid dashes if you can.  If a .com domain isn’t available, then try the .net or .me extensions.

What should I put on my personal website?

These are the things your website should have:

1. Focus

If the primary purpose of your website is to help you get a job, then your website needs to focus on that. Things you need to consider: what is the purpose of the website, who is your target visitor, and what skills and information do you want to showcase.

2. Contact information

Make sure employers can easily contact you if they were provided with your website and no other information. Leave off your home address and keep contact information more general, such as your name, email address and phone number.

3. Professional headline

This could be a job title or a short description of the role you want. This way, your visitors gets to remember what you do, as well as giving Google and other search engines more changes to display your website when someone searches for that specific title or role description.

4. About Me page

The key is to keep your About Me page professional and brief. Include additional information that may not be in your resume or cover letter, such as hobbies and interests, awards and accomplishments. You can also include a professional photo, but make sure it’s a high-quality, professionally-taken headshot or wide shot. In other words, a selfie you took with your smartphone wouldn’t do.

5. Work experience or resume

Always include your resume.

6. Samples of your work

Treat your website like a portfolio to showcase examples of your work. In addition to images, you can also include videos and other relevant multimedia.

7. Links

Add links to professional associations you’re a member of, and links to any articles about you. You can also include links to podcasts or audios you’ve recorded. This will help the potential employer know that you’re committed and knowledgeable about your profession.

8. A Blog

A blog is a great way to demonstrate knowledge and show that you’re engaged in the community and/or an expert in your respective field. You don’t have to be a great writer to start a blog.

9. Testimonials or references

You want to share any positive things professionals (e.g. former colleagues or employers) or clients have said about you. It’s best if the same testimonial also resides on your LinkedIn page, so it’s clear that it is from a real person.

10. Social elements

Make it easy for people to connect to all of your social outlets.

11. Contact info

Make sure recruiters and employers can contact you. A contact is typically sufficient, but you may also want to include your phone number and email address.

Now go ahead and create your resume website!